KZN mom recalls fight for life during delivery while sick with COVID-19

Thirty-seven-year-old Nokuthula Gumede had to spend six weeks at the Netcare Kingsway Hospital after experiencing severe COVID-19 complications in the final stages of her pregnancy.

Nokuthula Gumede (37) was diagnosed with COVID-19 36 weeks into her pregnancy and gave birth while in ICU after experiencing severe COVID-19 complications in the final stages of her pregnancy. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN – An Amanzimtoti mother who was diagnosed with COVID-19 36 weeks into her pregnancy and gave birth while in ICU has opened up to Eyewitness News about her experience for the first time.

Thirty-seven-year-old Nokuthula Gumede had to spend six weeks at the Netcare Kingsway Hospital after experiencing severe COVID-19 complications in the final stages of her pregnancy.

Doctors said that Gumede was extremely ill when she was admitted to the hospital on 13 July and they were deeply concerned about whether she would survive.

Gumede spent three of the six weeks in hospital fighting for her life while sedated and on a ventilator.

She said that she started suspecting something was wrong when she experienced severe shortness of breath.

“I went to see the gynaecologist and she told me to go and get tested for COVID-19. My results came back positive and I was then admitted to hospital,” Gumede said.

Doctors said that her condition worsened over the next few days and they concluded that her baby would have to be born by C-section to save her life.

Her baby boy was born four days after she was admitted and spent some time in neonatal ICU before being discharged from the unit.

Gumede was discharged from hospital over two weeks ago, but she is undergoing physiotherapy and has to use a walking stick.

She said that she experienced trauma and depression following her experience but she was optimistic about her future.

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